In a position paper published in its journal Diabetes Care, the American Diabetes Association is recommending screening Asian Americans for Type 2 diabetes at a Body Mass Index (BMI) cut point of 23 kg/m2 or higher rather the current cut point of 25 kg/m2 or higher recommended for the general population. The recommendation and position paper are based on clear evidence of the higher prevalence of diabetes among several Asian American subgroups at lower BMI cut points. This is one of the first race or ethnicity-based clinical guidelines to be endorsed by a national disease organization. The recommendation does not change the definition of overweight or obesity for Asian Americans.
Since 2011, the Asian American Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Diabetes Coalition has been drawing attention to the need for changes in clinical guidelines for Asian Americans, who experience twice the prevalence of type 2 diabetes than the general American population. The Coalition first called for a revision of the clinical guidelines at its State of the Sciences Conference on Diabetes among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, held in Honolulu, Hawaii in September 2011.